I’m sure if you asked head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin if she wished her third season in Oxford had gone better, she wouldn’t hesitate. After going a combined 16-45 in her first two years at Ole Miss, the Rebels bounced back in a big way during a COVID-affected season with a 10-10 record and two wins over a top-20 Kentucky team.
More so, on the court, her squad was much improved.
Shakira Austin (First-Team All-SEC), Madison Scott (SEC Freshman of the Year, All-Freshman) and Snudda Collins (All-Freshman) were all honored by the league on Tuesday after their impressive campaigns this season.
Coach Yo on @Theylove_kira: "When you talk about , you talk about...— Ole Miss Women's BB (@OleMissWBB) February 25, 2021
...and I think Shakira embodies all of that." @Hoophall
https://t.co/FSJG29PAkY#LeslieAward | #HottyToddy | #NoCeilings pic.twitter.com/NvpUC0pLII
Austin, a former five-star and McDonald’s All-American transfer from Maryland, was as advertised this year for the Rebels. She is the first Rebel to earn First-Team honors since Tia Faleru (2014-15). The Lisa Leslie Award Top-10 list nominee was fucking dominant this year, averaging 17.9 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.7 steals, 1.5 blocks, and 1.3 assists per game. From the floor, she was damn near automatic, shooting 52.1 percent from the field. Austin managed to score in double digits in all but one of her 20 games in the 2020-2021 season.
In nine of those games she scored 20 or more and had nine double-doubles as well.
Even more impressive, Austin is currently the only active SEC player with 1,000 career points (1,026), 700 career rebounds (715), and 150 career blocks (159).
Scott, the other McDonald’s All-American on the roster, was damn near just as dominant in her first year at the college level. The former five-star lead all freshmen in the conference in scoring and rebounding, averaging 10.5 and 7.4 respectively. Like Austin, Scott was a dominant force on the glass, logging six double-digit rebound games and five double-doubles. The conference’s freshman of the year shot a ridiculous 59.4(!) percent from the floor.
Needless to say, the sky is the limit for Scott. She won SEC Freshman of the Week six times, joining an elite fraternity that includes only two others.
Aside from having one of the best names on the roster, Snudda Collins, she announced her presence early, scoring 23 points in her first game against McNeese State. Collins ended the regular season averaging 7.2 points and 2.6 rebounds per game while shooting an insane 42.5 percent from three-point range. That clip is good for fourth in the country.
The Brookhaven, Miss. native bombed three or more threes in eight games this season, seven of those multiple three-pointer games came during SEC play to boot. Unfortunately, Collins was competing with her teammate for weekly honors, but she still managed to win SEC FOTW twice. Furthermore, when you combine Austin, Collins, and Scott’s honors this season, they broke the program record with nine total.
Sure, on paper, the season wasn’t all too great. And Coach Yo would admit that. But the foundation has been laid and there is real momentum for the Rebels heading into not only the SEC Tournament, but the 2021-2022 season as well.